What is Job Seeker's Allowance?
Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is a benefit for people over 18 who are unemployed or working less than 16 hours a week and who are seeking work.
Some 16 and 17 year olds can also apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
We've compiled some useful answers to come of your frequently asked questions around Jobseeker's Allowance.
Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.
Who can get Jobseeker's Allowance?
To receive Jobseeker's Allowance you must:
- be available for work
- be actively seeking work
- have entered into a claimant commitment - this is an agreement between you and the Jobcentre.
How do I apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance?
You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance online, or by phoning Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688.
In some areas of the country you might have to apply for Universal Credit instead.
I have been turned down for Job Seeker's Allowance, how do I challenge a decision?
If you want to challenge a decision about your Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must ask the Department of Work and Pensions to look at their decision again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration. You must do this within a month of the letter that told you about the decision. If they do not change their decision, then you can appeal.
A Tribunal will decide whether to change the decision. More information is available from the government website.
Try to get an advisor to help you with your appeal. You can find advisors in your local area.
We've created the following factsheets to help you with the benefits application, Care Act assessment and follow-up process.
- Delays in receiving benefits (PDF, 52 KB) - this factsheet explains the options that may be available to you whilst you're waiting for your first payment.
- Mandatory reconsiderations (PDF, 48 KB) - this factsheet explains what to do if you wish to challenge a benefit decision.
- Reasonable adjustments (PDF, 425 KB) - this factsheet explains what changes should be made by the Job Centre and DWP for people with a learning disability who are looking to claim benefits.
- Personal Independence Payments (PDF, 61 KB) - this factsheet explains who the benefit is for and how to apply.
- PIP - Support with filling in form (PDF, 113 KB) - this factsheet guides you through the process for completing the PIP2 form to apply for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
- ESA - Information on the Work Capability Assessment (PDF, 62 KB) - this factsheet explains how the assessment for employment and support allowance works, and how you should prepare.
- Precedent letter: Request needs assessment (Word, 36 KB) - this letter is for you to use to request a needs assessment under the Care Act. Please read about assessments and eligibility before completing this letter.
- What happens next (PDF, 367 KB) - this factsheet sets out what should happen after your Care Act assessment.
- Precedent letter: After assessment requesting care plan (Word, 44 KB) - this letter is for you to use when there is a delay in developing your family member's care plan.
- Reviews and new assessments (PDF, 219 KB) - this factsheet is for people who already receive care and support through a package of social care and what they can expect from the review and assessment process.
- Direct payments (PDF, 72 KB) - this factsheet explains how people with a learning disability and their families can receive direct payments to arrange their social care support themselves.
- What is independent advocacy? (PDF, 89 KB) - this factsheet explains how advocacy works and when a person with a learning disability should have an advocate under the Care Act.
How to get the support you need
Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.
Or why not take a look at FamilyHub? This is our online community for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability, and is a place for sharing experiences, advice and support.